I needed some persuasion to join this full-day cooking class. My cooking has been limited to seafood and game... and even though now retired, I've been reluctant to have-a-go at anything requiring thought, patience and culinary skill. Fortunately my life partner talked me into it. The fun started at the markets, where we learned a little about the ingredients we'd use. Two river trips followed, until we arrived near the river mouth to find ourselves in a huge, very well-appointed open-air kitchen/classroom, adjacent organic vegetable gardens. Class members were an enthusiastic, lively bunch whose ages ranged from early-twenties to mid-sixties.
Thai, our guide, chef and instructor, and his assistants, demonstrated some fundamentals, including making pancake flour for pancakes, using traditional Vietnamese grinding and sifting techniques. Thai's training, assisting to run his mother's Vietnamese Restaurant in Paris, gave him an enormous breadth of cuisinery knowledge and skill, some of the subtleties of which we perceived and applied.
As an ex-chalkie, I was impressed with Thai's teaching skill, which was basically a step-by-step demonstration (and tasting); followed by us, his students, actually preparing as exact a replication as we could. Each of us had a set of typed instructions... and assistants supported our efforts if necessary. Our results varied, but even the dullest student (yours truly) managed to produce some amazing dishes. (See photos of _our_ results!)
We ended up preparing and consuming four dishes each, for a latish lunch (plus pineapple dessert), before experiencing a phenomenon I'm still unable to fathom, involving half the class... and a circular table!~ Won't spoil it for you... .
Thanks, Thai and helpers, for what has undoubtedly been our best day in South Vietnam. Not only do we better understand your culture and appreciate how several of the dishes we enjoy are prepared, but you've given us the confidence to prepare them ourselves, at home.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.